Amy Poehler’s Enneagram: Type 8, The Challenger

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on March 15, 2022

“Anybody who doesn't make you feel good, kick them to the curb. And the earlier you start in your life, the better.” — Amy Poehler, Enneagram 8 

You probably know her as the bubbly and ambitious Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation or the “cool mom” on Mean Girls. Similar to her Parks and Rec character, Amy Poehler has an impressive resume: actress, comedian, writer, director, producer, best-selling author, mom and champion to women everywhere (to name a few). 

But have you ever wondered, “What is Amy Poehler’s Enneagram type?” Ok maybe not, but we’re here to tell you anyway.

What is Amy Poehler’s Enneagram Type?

In March 2022, Poehler appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers to talk about what sounded like an epic 50th birthday party, where she and some famous friends (like fellow SNL alum Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch) took the Enneagram test

Poehler said she is an Enneagram Eight. The Type Eight, also called the Challenger, is defined by the desire to be powerful, strong and independent. Eights fear vulnerability and feeling out of control. They make up approximately 15% of the population and are a more common type among men than women. 

“I’m a Challenger,” Amy said during the interview. “Safety and security are important to me, I want to know who’s in charge.” 

“I don’t really know what I’m talking about and I know there are people who are much better at explaining this. But because I’m an Eight I’m already an expert,” she joked. “What I believe to be true is that Eights like hard work, that’s where they get a lot of self-esteem.”  

Outwardly: Spotting the Eight 

“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody's passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn't mind leading.” — Amy Poehler 

  • Much of Amy’s work, from her best-selling book, Yes, Please! to her organization, Smart Girls, is focused on uplifting and empowering women and girls. “Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do,” she said.
  •  Eights are often tireless advocates for the causes they care about. Amy is no different — she’s advocated for several causes, including California Domestic Workers, One Fair Wage, and served as an ambassador for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation. 
  • Eights pride themselves on their strength and ability to say what they want. They value honesty and won’t back down from a fight. In Yes, Please! Amy talks about her challenges as a woman in comedy, and how her resilience and drive helped her succeed. “It’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need,” she said. 

Inwardly: Understanding the Eight 

  • As an Eight, Amy admittedly struggles with vulnerability. When her book was published in 2014 she told NPR that she was, “used to writing in characters and not really writing about myself... it was easier to share the early parts of my life rather than my own current events.”
  • Eights are part of the body-based triad, along with Types Nine and One. the core emotion for these types is anger. Poehler shares her experiences with anger in her book, “Telling me to relax or smile when I’m angry is like bringing a birthday cake into an ape sanctuary. You’re just asking to get your nose and genitals bitten off.” We really could not have said this any better.

“It’s so interesting to hear everybody’s number and hear what motivates people, how they like to work,” Amy said during the interview on Late Night. “We were laughing really hard because it was explaining all of us to a tee!” 

It’s safe to say that Amy Poehler can now add “Enneagram Enthusiast” to her long list of accomplishments.  

Find out your Enneagram type by taking Truity’s free Enneagram test.

Megan Malone

Megan is a freelance writer and brand marketing consultant at Truity. She is passionate about helping people improve their relationships, careers, and quality of life using personality psychology. An INFJ and Enneagram 9, Megan lives quietly in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and two pups. You can chat with her on Twitter @meganmmalone.

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

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